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Crosby speaks after first non-contact practice.


A quick, and perhaps messy, transcription of Penguins C Sidney Crosby’s post-practice media scrum today at St. Pete Times Forum. He spent about 35 minutes on the ice with teammates, followed by approximately another 15 to 20 working out individually. He participated in all drills and was worked into a power-play rotation.

Q: Did you push for something like this?

A: No. They basically tell me what to do. They know better than I do. I was pretty excited to hear that I’d be joining the team and would do a little pregame skate here and there.

Q: Did they tell you what to look for next?

A: With every step it’s that you don’t get symptoms. Obviously it’s not just one day. It’s at least a few days if not more. The main thing is to not look too far ahead, just try to get through each step and hopefully it goes well.

Q: How does skating with the guys help you progress?

 A: Just the motion, all the guys out there, it’s something you take for granted a lot, but it’s something you have to get readjusted too. It puts a little added pressure on your brain a bit when everyone is moving out there and you have to react to all that. So, it’s just trying to see how that goes.

Q: Have you had any symptoms recently?

 A: No. At this point when you haven’t skated that much and you’re out there it’s important that you’re able to separate the two into being fatigued, feeling what’s new, and what’s symptoms of a concussion. That’s why it’s more than one day.

Q: Did you take something like this for granted?

A: I don’t think I ever do, but it’s easy not to realize until you go through something like this, how easy those things and how they’re really not sometime. I don’t think I’ve ever taken it for granted, but I don’t know if it’s something you think about until you go through something like this?

Q: What is the balance of being in hockey-shape and back from a concussion?

A: I’ve got to be ready no matter what. Whether you’re coming back from injury going into the playoffs or the regular season, you’ve got to make sure you’re healthy. It’s a matter for me making sure I’m healthy. If that takes two months, it takes two months. If it doesn’t, great – but I can’t really control it. I’ve just got to do the right things to try and feel good and get back to where I need to be, but I’m not looking too far ahead at all. This was a good opportunity to get back on the ice, but it’s just another small step.

Q: Does the unknown aspect of a concussion make this harder?

 A: Yeah, it does. There’s no set time. Usually with certain things you’ve got a set time frame, that’s not the case. With the time of the year – that doesn’t make it any easier. It’s just a frustrating thing in general to go through. There’s so many different opinions. Everyone who’s gone through concussions react differently, so it’s not easy to get a real grasp on what you’re going to go through. That’s been different. That’s been the challenge.

Q: Was there any damage from the Hedman hit?

A: I don’t know. It probably didn’t help. I would say it didn’t help.

Q: Did you head hit the glass on that hit?

A: Yeah.

Q: Does going through the mental preparation of a game day practice help test your brain?

 A: I’m not too worried about that. The first step is just being able to go out there and work at the pace you need to work at, deal with all that motion – that’s really the main thing I want to go through and get done. It’s kind of small steps and it doesn’t seem like much, but when you go through the last few months it feels like a lot. It’s nice to be out there.

Q: What does it say about your team that they’re in this position without you and Malkin?

 A: It says a lot. It’s amazing to see what we’ve gone through. It wasn’t just me and Geno. We had seven or eight guy regular guys out. IT’s been different guys. (Fleury’s) been huge throughout the whole year, (Kennedy) recently putting the puck in the net. It takes everybody collectively, and we all know that. This has been a pretty good reminder of the character we have in this room.

Q: What was your reaction when they told you that you could get back out there with teammates?

A: I was pretty excited. It doesn’t seem like much. You do that 80 times a year, but it feels good. Especially because I’ve been sitting around a bunch of time now; it was just nice to be around the guys, you miss that a lot.


Cheers until faceoff,





Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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